I have a base 84 Fiero purchased yesterday. No pictures yet, hopefully tonight. The car has few options except for the N78 Turbo wheels. less than 84,000 miles. I had been following it on Craigslist for sometime. Had text some questions to the owner early on. He let me know late Wednesday night that I could have it for $250, original asking was $550. The car is all stock except for a Sony Cd/radio with a 300 w amplifier. I dont think the amp is hooked up completely, however. The bad, engine runs but appears to have bad head gasket. Looks like front rotors may need replaced. Guess what, the headliner needs redone! Paint has some clearcoat failure. Seats are well used, especially at the drivers bolster. And unfortunately , the dash has two cracks, so may need a new dash pad. The worst for me, is it is equiped with the M19 transmission, which has 4:10 dif. gears. Not my style in this day and age. Luckily, I have a motor with a fresh rebuild that I purchased about 3/4 years ago. Attached to it is an Isuzu 5 speed. I think that is the combination to go with. Anyone know if I will need to change the shifter if I go to the 5 speed? I do have a shifter and cables that came with my 3.8 car when I purchased it. Anyway, that is the info on my 8th Fiero. Wife was real happy, since I haven't finished my "mini wide body" project. I will add some pictures later today, hopefully.
I only have four Fiero's right now, including this 84. When I was up to 11 cars about three years ago, my wife calmly suggested it was time to sell some. At that time I sold a 76 Corvette ,84 Fiero, 88 Fiero GT and an 85 GT. It seems as the years slide by, it takes more and more time to get these projects finished up. I just couldn't pass this 84 up since it is so close to the original concept. There will be few mods to this one, just a refurbishment to as near original as I can get.
Update. I thought i'd take a look at the engine this evening. I pulled the thermostat cap and there was no water showing. I pulled the radiator cap, no water. No water in the expansion tank. I was told the engine had a blown head gasket, thus no water. I cleaned up some oil spill in the engine compartment and put a new air filter in the housing which had just sort of been sitting there, not properly fastened down. My friend suggested I stop by his place and get his cooling system pressure tester. I figured the thing needed water in the system anyway so I filled it up. Started the car, let it run, took it for a drive, and no steam or milky oil. No major coolant loss either. There was a drip from the thermostat cap however. When I first removed it, it looked pretty bad but I gave it a try. And it was bad. My guess is that the PO let the car run out of water and the water had leaked from the stat cap. All else is good. Sometimes one gets lucky, but even though there were signs of a major overheat, the engine seems fine. The oil pressure light does not iluminate, so I will put a gauge on it tomorrow to see how that looks. And, buy a new stat cap. Then I'll pressure test the system. The throttle cable is really sticky, any way to lube them? Gas gauge doesn't work either.
Spent most of the day repairing the cig lighter since it was stuffed with "Ike and Mike's". Then attacked the instrument cluster. The only light working was the ajar light. So I took everything apart and cleaned the clear lense and everything as I went. Checked all the bulbs, they were good. Replaced the gas gauge with a known good one to no avail. I decided to put things back together without having much success, when I discovered the right side dash harness was barely in the connection. Pushed it together and reasembled everything, and now everything works including the gas gauge. Next time, I';ll check the connectors FIRST. Glad things are fixed. Fixed the leaky thermostat cap and took it for a drive. No leak, no steam out the exhaust, and it drove pretty well except for the sticky throttle and an occasional miss under heavy load. It will need a valve cover gasket, noticed oil pooling above the exhaust header. Not a good place for combustibles. Happy with the progress so far, what more can I ask for $250. Hope to find an original set of 84 upholstery. The only good one is the passenger seat back. I could do Mr. Mikes, but would like to keep it original.
Pulled the seats yesterday so I could vac under them. Loose change up to $4 plus! Cleaned much of the light gray trim, PO must have been a smoker. Cleaned the engine and front compartment, polished the tail lights, pulled the shifter plate to glue some delam. Ordered a new 'stat cap as well as front brake pads and new front rotors, windshield wipers and some misc. stuff.. Brakes work fine, but passenger rotor has big , deep grooves in it. It may , after all, have a blown head gasket. Engine runs fine, but on about half of the startups, it steams some and will spit water, but stops after it warms up a while. It appears the steam/spitting is more than just condensation, although no antifreeze smell, no milky oil! I'll continue to fix thinks and keep an eye on coolant in the meantime. Coolant level in expansion tank has dropped about 1/2". I suppose I can hope for an air pocket in the system, but things are not looking up. It's raining this morning( typical July 4 event here), or I would post a current picture.
Olejoedad, thanks for letting me know about requiring a 5 speed shifter. I have a shifter that was in my 3.8 car before it became an auto.It had a 5 speed, so hopefully it will be the right one. I'll try to search for info on how the shifters differ. It would be a lot nicer with a 5 speed instead of 4:10 geared 4 speed! I will try to post some pictures tomorrow showing the progress. Mostly cleaning and fixing delam. Thanks, everyone, for your interest.
[This message has been edited by bjc 350 (edited 07-08-2016).]
UPDATE! I worked on the car a little yesterday. I found a front bra in the box of spares the owner gave me, so thought i would try it on the car. Not my style but the bra is in good shape.
I worked on repairing some delam on the center console as well as dealing with the seat recline mechanism cover. Better ashtray doors, fixed the delam, and put a newer shifter boot on as well as painted the ugly ashtrays.
Fixed the broken tab thingy on the recline cover as well as the torn out screw hole locations. The passenger side had bad screw holes but a good tab.
Working on the delam of the heater /radio console cover.
Also in need of a good face plate for vent, heater, radio area. This one is pretty good, but a PO broke the top right corner off while zealously tightening the screw just one more turn! I may be able to use it by installing a cup holder over it.
This type cupholder would cover it.
If it rains tomorrow like it did today, I may get the headliner out for repair. Can't mow my evergrowing lawn in the rain!
Well I didn't get the headliner out, but did accomplish a few things. Installed the seat recline covers after repairing them. Hooked up the amp to the sound system, it worked great and I even discovered a sub. But today, the amp no longer works!?? I reinstalled the center console and while doing so, I tried to get a better install on the Sony tuner/cd. I may have pulled a wire loose during that process. Hate going backward on a project. My wife is not too keen on the car hobby, but she was nice enough to sew up a new shifter boot for me. Her first one and it turned out well. Last summer she even sewed a headliner for my Austin Mini i was restoring. She did a nice job and saved us some money. Then I spent some time repairing/replacing the passenger headlight motor which had a stripped gear as well as disintegrated buttons inside. I had a few spare motors , so was able to find one with good gears and plastic buttons. Installed it, then the turn knob had the jitters, so removed the motor, disassembled it, found I had displaced the rubber seal just below the knob and the armature couldn't move up and down. Reassembled, reinstalled, and I think it is fixed. Nice to have working headlights. I replaced some sidemarker light bulbs as well as one of the turn signal bulbs on drivers tail light. Put new wiper blades on, the old ones were really sad. Installed a new thermostat cap, the old one had been leaking and contributing to the coolant loss the PO was experiencing. Headliner and front brake rotors and the mechanics should be good. I'm going to drive it with the engine as is. But, there may still be a lingering issue with the head or head gasket, though it runs pretty well. Will need to keep watching the coolant level. Paint will be the last thing.
Console back together with a new shift boot sewn by my wife.
Today not much was accomplished. I installed a cup holder. I also found that the cause of the amp not working was actually a wire disconnected at the head unit. I must have pulled it apart at the connection when removing/installing the stereo. I cleaned the front compartment, including removing the windshield cowl cover. Reset the windshield washer nozzles. Someone had removed them and then failed to tighten them down. I pulled the center vent (84 remember) cleaned it up and primed and painted it. Will install once paint has cured some. Still need to do the visors, maybe I can get my wife to recover them. Also need to pull the headliner out for recovering. Once the headliner and front brake rotors are finished I will get the car licensed and insured and then try to use as a daily driver. Oh, still need to replace the exterior dew wipes. I have two sets ratholed, factory GM. Though the car needs paint, it's not a bad 10 footer at this point. I'm looking to buy a gray 84 seat back upholstery as well as two seat bottom upholstery. All I need is the upholstery, seats are pretty good. I'll likely post a wanted thread in the mall once some of the more pressing things are fixed.
This is the color and style I'm wanting to find.
Couple pictures of the cup holder, notice the boat anchor on the foam liner. I'm not saying it in any way references the Iron Duke in back.
Front compartment cleaned up, not totally, but a lot better.
Primered decklid center vent. No picture of the finished job.
A little more progress. The painter came by yesterday and was surprised the car was in as good a condition as it is. He plans to prep and paint from the beltline moulding up. He feels the sides of the car will buff out pretty well. He plans on doing the work in my shop at his leisure. Today, I worked at getting the headliner out of the car. The headliner card was in very good condition once all the old gunk was brushed off. We then went to Joann's Fabric and bought a couple yards of gray headliner material. I have purchased it there several times, but this time the quality was poor. They did give me an additional discount because of the visible defects. Two yards, $10.49. But I don't think I can use the second piece because there are at least 5 defects in that one yard of material. Finished the headliner tonight, but no pictures of the finished headliner, but I will post one tomorrow. Also installed the repainted rear deck vent and end covers.
Decklid vent painted, just need to do the rest of the car, now!
I've been out prepping for installation of the headliner. We were headed to a car show today, but the NW Oregon rains decided against the idea. So will be installing the headliner and associated pieces.
Painter called, he is coming monday to get started. I put the headliner in place, what an improvement. Not all the plastic pieces back in place yet. My wife is working on the sun visors and hand brake boot. Just wish I could find some correct seat upholstery. Talked to Mr. Mike yesterday, he says his cloth is not close to matching the original 84 cloth. I may have to go with them anyway.
[This message has been edited by bjc 350 (edited 07-16-2016).]
Thanks for the encouragement. I spent Sunday getting the car ready for the painter.I liked the pins stripping on the car, until I had to remove it. Then spent several hours removing the pin stripe adhesive. Removed the old dew wipes. Will install the new ones after paint. Removed the side mirrors, license plates and holder, and the notchie sail panels. Painter is supposed to stop this afternoon to set up the shop for his process. Also repaired a crack in the drivers rear quarter panel near the air intake scoop. That was the only body damage on this 32 year old car! It was quite a task removing the Fiero badge from the front facia. Finally got it after removing the screws holding the upper flange of the facia , then stretching it up just enough to get a 10mm socket and stubby ratchet in there. That was as much of a challenge as getting the pinstripe adhesive off. Now, back outside to clean up the shop. Thanks for looking.
UPDATE! I've been working my semi retirement job the last two days. But the painter and my wife have been making progress working on the refurbishment of the 84. The painter has spent several hours removing the old clearcoat and some of the basecoat to get rid of the flaky clear and in some areas crazed clear/basecoat. He has done the hood,roof and trunk . Still to go are the front facia and rear bumper. The areas down to the beltline on the fenders and quarters will be scuffed as well. Those areas are in very good shape. The paint store rep was due today to determine the required shade of stock red. Not sure if he was here, but will find out in the morning when the painter arrives. My Fiero parts friend, Lucas, searched his parts stash and came up with a perfect replacement dash pad for the 84. This car has the solid dark gray dash. So I will replace the dash, never done one, but this one has three cracks. First of my 8 Fiero's to have a bad dash, other than on the vent knee kickers!
Hood sanded to eliminate failing clear/base.
Rear deck and a peek at the roof which is well sanded.
My wifes first sunvisor restoration. Very nice for her first try, now she is starting on the handbrake boot.
Visors installed, not 100% sure I have them on the correct sides. The brackets are driver,pass. specific, right?
Olejoedad, thanks for letting me know about requiring a 5 speed shifter. I have a shifter that was in my 3.8 car before it became an auto.It had a 5 speed, so hopefully it will be the right one. I'll try to search for info on how the shifters differ.
Rodney Dickman used to have info on how the 5 speed shifters differ. The Readers' Digest version, IIRC, is that either one will work, but the Getrag shifter is a bit more sturdy.
Update, not a lot to show. Painter has been sanding and getting prep done. Finally masked so he can shoot primer on hood, top and rear deck lid tomorrow. So when I get home from work tomorrow we should see at least the primer. Will still need a few other areas primed, but he has some serious health issues , so takes his time. Every time he walks past the "mini wide body" project he says, " I really want to help you get that thing finished up." I think I may need help, it has been about a year since I posted to that thread. Anyway, some progress continues on the 84.
Couple pics of the car masked ready for primer. Not very good pictures at that!
Progress, slow but sure. While I was at work today, the painter applied several coats of primer and a guide coat. He will be back tomorrow to continue the priming process, or whatever he tells me to do, like sanding! I'm lucky he is willing to work in such a cramped area. He makes the most of the facility we have to deal with.
The painter and I finished sanding the primed areas, pulled the masking and cleaned the car best possible. Tomorrow he is going to re-mask everything and hopefully spray some color by Tuesday or Wednesday. I will still have to repaint the black beltline moldings. Still looking for nice 84 seats to no avail. I have to replace the front rotors after paint, clean those blessed turbine wheels again, and then drive it a little to see what is up with the motor. May need to be replaced with my spare iron duke and 5 speed. My summer maintenance around the houses is suffering because of this project. But, it is more fun and rewarding than staining a deck or killing weeds in the lawn- the list could go on. For some reason, tonight Pip won't attach my pictures to the post?
Finally we have an update! The car is painted! The painter has been working diligently, if not quickly to get to this point. He primed, sanded, applied a sealer, sanded as necessary and applied the base coat. Only problem, the paint store mixed the wrong U71 formula. They mixed red orange for 84-02 instead of for the 84-85 Fiero Red. We had the nicest orange base you might ever see on a Fiero. So, off to Longview (about 50 miles each way) to have the paint store mix the correct formula. LOts of extra work for the painter. Anyway, we finally finished up about 6:30 last evening after applying the new base and then the clear. He came by today to buff out the dust, but felt it was still a little soft, so will return tomorrow to buff. 90 plus degrees today, so guess we have an outdoor paint baking system. He did a nice job, especially considering it was painted in a 12' wide addition to my shop, with few amenities other than some shop lights hung on the walls and a box fan trying to remove the overspray. And there was plenty of overspray since he uses plenty of pressure even though he uses an hvlp gun. But he gets it on with minimal orange peel to be worked out and NO runs. I will do the reassembly and painting of the black trim. There is minimal overspray cleanup.
[This message has been edited by bjc 350 (edited 08-19-2016).]
A few photos after wet sanding and preliminary buffing. Still need to buff deck lid, hood and top, again. And then polish with a different compound after that. Some reassembly has been done, but want to wait for most of it until we're through slinging buffing compounds. Then, I will paint the beltline moldings.
Thanks for the compliments. I worked on buffing a little more this am, but it's over 90 here, so shop got too warm. Can't wait to reassemble things!
Did a little more buffing this evening, then took it outside to see how it looked. Getting better, now just some spots to improve upon, then the polish.
Thought I should add the interior handy work my wife did. First time for the e brake boot. She studied this thing and worked with it for many hours for such a small item. But in the end, she was able to replicate the original one quite well. After 34 years of marriage, she is finally taking a small interest in the hobby. Thanks, Nora.
[This message has been edited by bjc 350 (edited 08-25-2016).]
Been buffing and polishing and reassembling things. Interior mostly finished, except I have a new used dash pad coming along with the drivers door sill/handbrake trim which was broken when I bought the car. Seats are from my "mini wide body" project which has been stalled for a while. Still looking for a set of original seat upholstery, but tough to come by in good shape. Exterior is nearly finished up, need to repaint the belt line trim and paint the rocker molding. Still need to clean those turbo wheels. And, some mechanicals still to do. Brake rotors in front, with new pads. Then deciding on what to do with the iron duke. Likely has a blown head gasket or cracked head as the PO suggested. I will drive it a little, to verify. I know most people do the cosmetics after the mechanicals, but the painter was available, so did that first.
Yep, the turbine wheels are in pretty good shape. One has minor curb rash, but they all have issues with the clear lifting on the bright aluminum lip. I think I will remove the clear and polish the lip. That likely will happen this winter, since it is time consuming. One wheel has some rust dust stuck to the area between the vanes. Not sure how to remove it, scrubbing does not get it. The rust came from the brake rotor which has deep grooves in it, though the brakes work perfectly. Apparently the PO ran the car with bad pads to gouge the rotor that much. I really like the steelies better, but since the turbine wheels were original to the car, I will keep them.
Just a note, when I reassembled things I installed new outer dew wipes. The 85 on wipes are definitely different from the 84. The fit is OK, but not great. Wish they were tighter to the door skin. The wipes were GM with a shipping date of 2002. Also, on 84's, don't forget the side sails have a bolt that needs to be accessed before you put the interior seat belt/pillar interior finisher back in place. I'm guessing you know how I now know that!
Can't wait to get some plates on this thing so I can drive it a bit before winter shows on our North Coast.
By the way, still looking for a good set of 84 seat upholstery in this style. I need both seat bottoms, and a least one seat back.
Well I was able to clean the beltline moldings for the most part. I did have to repaint the door handles and the rear bumper belt line area. The rest cleaned up pretty well with Back to Black. There is some minor damage to the passenger door molding and the driver rear quarter molding. So I will likely replace them when I find good ones. Also reinstalled the license plate holder brackets to the front bumper. I don't like the clunky factory plate holder, so will likely make a better holder. Cleaned up the wheels, but still not up to par. After taking the attached pictures, I removed the rear center vent and the side blanking covers. I will be repainting them, since my first attempt did not work as well as I had envisioned. Also will be repainting the rocker covers to clean them up a little. I think this is about as good as the exterior visuals will get. Just about ready to attack the rest of the mechanical issues.
And of course our little helper Fino, expecting a ride ! And, still awaiting the handbrake sill trim. Just haven't picked it up from Lucas yet.
Well, a minor update. Refinished the engine vent and side covers. Not sure where my head was when I refinished them the first time, but this time I'm much happier with the results. Pretty much everything is buffed out on the outside, but still waiting for the paint to age a little before waxing the car. I did use Back to Black product on the bumper pads and the black rockers. I was going to paint the rockers, but the B to B worked pretty well. Took the car for a short drive(no plates yet) and it runs well and shifts fine, but the struts and shocks are pretty sad. I do have a new set in my spares, but was hoping to avoid a full alignment which will be pretty much necessary if I do the struts. Hopefully by replacing the shocks and struts I will be able to avoid the urge to lower the car . Right now, it drives the worst of any of the Fieros I've owned. Drives straight , stops fine, just bounces around with each shift. Easy to get that bow high attitude.
The sun added some interesting highlights in these pictures.
No pictures today. I licensed and insured the car first of the week, then drove the car to work on Wednesday, about 20 miles each way. First big outing other than around the neighborhood. So far, with about 60 miles on the clock, no loss of water. So, on the way home I was seeing smoke exiting the rear engine vent at about 60 mph. Stopped to look, and the oil was leaking from the valve cover gasket and pooling above the header. No flames! Today I replaced the gasket and since I had it off, the EGR valve as well. So far oil leak is gone and the erratic idle has disappeared, though it does idle at about 11/1200 rpm. The car does have some drivetrain issues, though. At speeds above about 40, I get the dreaded axle bearing(I'm assuming) drone. When I turn left , it is louder than driving straight or right turning. Right rear wheel bearing or axle assembly? Doesn't burn oil or smoke. Off idle throttle is bad, like the throttle cable is sticky. I've read you can spray WD 40 at one end and suction with a vacuum at the other end and lube the throttle cable that way. I may give it a try. Still a bit of overspray down low in the engine compartment from when we did the painting. Think I'll Gunk the areas and clean off with water or my pressure washer. The car is turning out pretty well. I've had lots of positive comments from people. One coworker, who is a car guy, said it "looks like a new car". That was rewarding to hear after the man hour investment.Thanks for looking.
Almost forgot, the struts and shocks must be original. Car feels like a boat on lightly rolling waves when you get it above 60. Ordered new s and s today. It really needs them.
[This message has been edited by bjc 350 (edited 09-22-2016).]
Received the new shocks and struts via Fed Ex yesterday. Monroe OE Spectrum. Installed the front shocks last night and what a difference. The old ones had no resistance in either direction. I will need to take some time to replace the struts as well as the axle bearings on the rear. May need a new D/S axle too, lots of slop in the old one. The only real drive ability problem is the pesky throttle. I did lube the foot throttle area, but need to tear into things to try to get a vacuum at the front or rear to suction some lube through the cable. Doesn't look like a 5 minute task. Also installed a new rotor and cap, though the old parts were not too bad. Nearly drove it 60 miles each way to our car club annual all club picnic today. But, the wife did not trust it to make the round trip without stranding us. So drove the SC 3800 and it ran great, but had to deal with a pesky check engine light when we got home. The usual 02 sensor insufficient switching. Ran perfectly, computer just didn't like the info it was getting!
[This message has been edited by bjc 350 (edited 09-25-2016).]